How We Help Stamford Animal Care & Control
Formed in response to the public's desire to make qualifying tax-deductible contributions to help shelter animals, OPIN was co-founded by shelter volunteers and is an all-volunteer, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is dedicated to meeting the special needs of the animals of Stamford Animal Care and Control. Funding is used for care not provided by the City of Stamford: preventive health care and extraordinary medical needs; supplies and public education; and training and evaluation of the shelter dogs in order to make them more adoptable canine citizens.
OPIN also will act as an advocate to bring about awareness of the need for a new, state-of-the-art and more inviting Animal Shelter and Humane Education Center. It will focus its efforts on fund-raising and gaining community support.
On March 1, 2007, OPIN held its organization meeting with Shelter Manager Laurie Hollywood, and a working partnership was formed. OPIN recognizes Laurie’s success, commitment to public safety and compassion toward the well-being of the shelter’s homeless animals, and supports the no-kill philosophy for which the shelter has become recognized.
OPIN spends approximately $5,000 per month to help the Shelter with special medical care, supplies (leashes, collars, micro-chips), dog training at the Shelter, post-adoption dog training at home, advertising, evaluations, subsidies for pit bull spaying/neutering (SNIP) -- all the wonderful care and programs Shelter Manager Laurie Hollywood would like to provide for the animals.
It is shocking how little the City of Stamford budgets for animal care. The Kennel Maintainer position has been completely cut out of the budget this year, making it the third consecutive year this position has been omitted. The 2010 budget reveals a cut of $6,500 in Dog Maintenance Expense (Animal Control requested $25,478 and was allowed $18,970). The 2011 budget has the reduced $18,970 amount once again budgeted for Dog Maintenance Expense. That gives Laurie an average of $364 per week to care for the dogs this year. That expense is to cover dog food, rabies vaccines and some minor medical care, but not any special care such as dentals, special surgeries, chemotherapy or the like for the 30 or so dogs the Shelter holds at any given time.
Cat care (food and litter) is never allowed into the city budget, nor is rabbit, bird, hamster, duck or any other non-dog items. For that reason, the Shelter is most grateful to the kind donors who seem to come through with animal care products and supplies such as bleach, paper towels, dish detergent, etc. Receipt of any of the items found on our wish list helps prevent Laurie from going over the city budget, and allows OPIN to continue to provide other services, such as special medical care, that our Shelter, and most other municipal shelters, just can't afford. When we are able to provide this care, it means keeping animals alive, healthy, and ready to start their new lives.
Once again, it will be a tough year for the Shelter, and OPIN will be there to help. Every donation of food or supplies, every fund-raising effort, no matter how small, adds up.